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Cologne, Germany

‘BREAK THE MATRIX (Episode One)’ is the first of a three-part music series from Moon and Aries and to say that I’m excited is an understatement. With vocal tones and lyrics that embody the Muse-ethos and instrumental layering like that of a concerto composer, the self-proclaimed ‘Synth Pop Opera’ duo have reached a new peak with the first episode of ‘BREAK THE MATRIX’.

The opening song, ‘Closer And Closer’ starts off simple, and hides its new wave roots under a dense and punchy piano tone. Then all at once, the song takes off and it does not take long for the vocal harmonies to take centre stage, held high by the synthesis of chords and keyboard arpeggios. The drums cut through the cosmos and highlight an especially tasty synth bass accent that comes and goes at precise intervals. The slight shifts in tones and the use of analogue sounds, such as a bell just before changes, really hold the song together, allowing for the vocals to properly convey the emotions within them. Without proper space, we would be led astray by an instrument or chord, but ‘Closer and Closer’ is perfectly tuned to let the vocals shine.

We move on, with proud if not sullen hearts, gifted to us by the performance of both Moon and Aries on ‘Closer and Closer’; to ‘The In Between’. We hear waves on a shore with a soft open once again led by piano. Retro-percussive rolls and a punchy bass pedal move us to the pads and vocals as we are guided through a smooth and dense sound that grows and grows in size and complexity. Standout tone, the woodwind overtop everything in centre stage. Somehow it goes missed, but without it, the song would feel one heartstring lighter. The song stands as a testament to the musicality of both Moon and Aries. They understand what the song is asking for and deliver it perfectly. The harmonies shine in the chorus as every instrument bands together to follow the melody, ebbing and flowing like the waves that ferry us between this song and the next, ‘Losing Control’.

Crisp and synthetic we are drawn into the song, which starts with a complex mix of piano, percussion and keyboard tones. A humming vocal chimes, one that is new to ‘BREAKING THE MATRIX’ and is a welcome addition, it juxtaposes the height and power of the other vocal and gives a different, darker, conversational feel to ‘Losing Control’. The music layers in, the piano leading the melody and soon we are gifted with a joint harmony that separates this song from the others on this album. A key change into the chorus strikes as odd at first but is a brilliant addition. Not only does it tie into the aim of the EP, ‘BREAKING THE MATRIX’ but it adds an interesting and memorable element to the song that makes it timeless.

Moon and Aries have delivered an overwhelmingly deep EP in this first episode of ‘BREAKING THE MATRIX’. The focus on lyrics that boost to eleven and instrumentals that are layered to blissful complexity serves to make this three-part series one to look/listen out for. I for one will be there every step of the way. If you like ‘BREAKING THE MATRIX (Episode One)’ then be sure to check out the rest of Moon and Aries’ discography, namely ‘The Arrival’ which is a textural, jazzy bop for the ages.



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